October 23, 2018 / 4:05 AM / 4 months ago

BUZZ-India's Asian Paints hits over 6-month low on disappointing qtrly profit

** Asian Paints Ltd falls as much as 5.8 pct to 1,131.50 rupees, lowest since April 4

** Paint maker posted lower-than-expected Q2 profit of 4.93 bln rupees ($66.83 mln) on Monday as higher expenses weighed

** Business conditions continued to remain challenging in international ops - MD KBS Anand said in a statement

** Citi analysts say weaker mix, escalation in input costs and delayed price hikes led to margin contraction, EBITDA fell 2 pct; keep PT of 1,480 rupees with “neutral” rating

** Macquarie analysts say “checks indicate paint companies have taken a ~2 pct price increase in early October, which should help improve margins in 3Q FY19”

** Macquarie says margin pressure due to high input costs, maintain “neutral” rating with PT of 1,300 rupees

** More than 1 mln shares change hands, compared with 30-day moving avg of 1.2 mln shares

** Sixteen of 31 brokerages covering the stock rate it “buy” or higher, 13 “hold” and two “sell”; median PT 1,431 rupees - Refinitiv Eikon data ($1 = 73.7700 Indian rupees)

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